That time when Sean Connery did a classical music stint and donated his royalties to kids
Sean Connery narrates Prokofiev's 'Peter and the Wolf'
Acting legend Sean Connery, who has died at 90, was famous for portraying arguably the best James Bond and for dramatic turns in films such as The Name of the Rose, The Hunt for Red October and The Rock. He didn't have much of a connection to music, but he did once record the narration for an album of children's classical music — and donated his royalties to charity.
Back in 1965, Connery provided the storytelling for a recording of Sergei Prokefiev's Peter and the Wolf and Benjamin Britten's The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. Antal Dorati led the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on the album released by London/Decca for its Phase Four Stereo Concert Series.
"He had just four hours free to read Gabrielle Hilton's revised narrative in a suite at the London Hilton before dashing off to Greece to be 007 again in Thunderball," according to a Gramophone review.
The write-up goes on to note that Connery donated all of his royalties to Dr. Barnardo's Homes, a U.K. charity for underprivileged children.
Although recorded 55 years ago, Connery's recording remains available.
In a review of the modern release, which adds a Dorati-led recording of Prokofiev's Lieutenant Kijé, BBC Music Magazine said: "Sean Connery makes the most of his Bond persona in his storytelling, staying true to the spirit of Prokofiev's original while keeping a smile on our faces: 'There was a dumb duck, and a pussycat.'"
Listen to Connery's version of Peter and the Wolf above, and check out the whole recording wherever you buy music.
Rest in peace, Sir Sean.